November 17, 2021 at 11:56:36 AM PST November 17, 2021 at 11:56:36 AM PSTth, November 17, 2021 at 11:56:36 AM PST

How Are Men's and Women's Lacrosse Different?

Some sports are noted for their stark differences between the men's and women's game, but when looking closely at women's lacrosse vs. men's lacrosse you see a combination of both noticeable and subtle differences that casual observers may miss. In this article we discuss how men's and women's lacrosse are different from the equipment they use to rule changes made between the two games.

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Women's Vs. Men's Lacrosse Equipment Changes

Perhaps the most visible difference between girls and boys lacrosse comes in the form of the equipment the players wear.

The men's game is a much more aggressive playstyle due to the fact that checking is permitted. Checking is the act of pushing or bumping into an opponent to knock them off-balance or out of the way of other players. You can also check other players with your stick by lifting or poking at your opponent's stick to dislodge the ball. Because of this, the safety equipment worn in men's lacrosse is far more substantial than in women's lacrosse.

In men's lacrosse, they typically wear helmets, face guards, shoulder pads, mouth guards, arm pads and padded gloves. This lacrosse equipment in many ways resembles the safety equipment worn by hockey players.

In women's lacrosse, the safety equipment is less substantial, consisting mainly of goggles, mouth guards and gloves. Checking is not permissible (stick checks are allowed, but they can not hit another player) and so safety is less of concern, though any woman who has ever played lacrosse will tell you that the game is still very physical and, without the additional safety gear, could be considered just as dangerous.

The Difference Between Men's and Women's Lacrosse Sticks

Another highly visible difference for women's lacrosse vs. men's lacrosse is the most essential piece of equipment for a lacrosse player: their stick. Men's lacrosse sticks have a wide variety of lengths and net sizes depending on which position you play. They can be anywhere from 40-42" for offensive players (attackers) all the way up to 52-72" for defensive players and goalies.

Women's lacrosse sticks are available in a single size range to choose from (approximately 35" to 43"). Additionally, the netting for a girl's lacrosse stick uses traditional lacing with thick strings called leathers. These leathers tend to be more tightly wound than what is typically used in boys lacrosse sticks, making ball handling more difficult. In fact, the difference between men's and women's lacrosse sticks is such that the deep pockets used by men would be illegal in a women's lacrosse game. Indeed, most boys lacrosse sticks utilize a more contemporary mesh netting to make ball handling easier while being checked by defenders.

Women's Lacrosse Vs. Men's Lacrosse: The Field of Play

Another difference between girls and boys lacrosse has to do with the field of play, the number of positions and the ball that is used. For women's lacrosse, the standard field size is slightly larger at 120 yards by 70 yards. The men's lacrosse field is only 110 yards by 60 yards (women's lacrosse is occasionally played on fields up to 140 yards long).

The reason for the additional space is necessary because of the personnel that each team fields. For men's lacrosse positions, each side consists of 10 players: three attackers, three midfielders, three defenders and one goalie. For women's lacrosse positions, they use a lineup of 12 players: Five offensive players, six defensive players and a goalie.

Meanwhile, the difference between the ball used for women's lacrosse vs. men's lacrosse is purely cosmetic. Men's lacrosse utilizes a white ball, and women's lacrosse typically uses a yellow colored ball of the same size, weight, shape and density. Occasionally, an orange ball may be used as well. The men's lacrosse ball is identical to the women's lacrosse ball aside from the color, and the size of the ball does not change from youth leagues to the professional ranks. Other colors of lacrosse balls are sold for practice and training purposes, so don't be surprised if you see a green or pink ball on your local lacrosse pitch.

Other Differences Between Girls And Boys Lacrosse

Some other smaller changes are notable as well:

  • Men's lacrosse begins with a face-off while a women's game starts with a draw. Because of the additional contact in a men's lacrosse game, contact to the head of an opponent is a non-releasable penalty. For women's lacrosse, any contact to the head would be considered a penalty and may result in a yellow or red card.
  • The difference in netting and stick sizes means the way players cradle the ball is different in women's lacrosse vs. men's lacrosse (due to the difference in pocket size, cradling is far more difficult with a women's lacrosse stick).

While these differences exist, the two sports are otherwise quite similar. Many of the tactics and strategies players use are the same, as well as the ways in which they attack and defend their opponents. Both games are highly enjoyable to play and to watch, so go out and support your local teams!

Shop Lacrosse Equipment at Trigon Sports

Now that you know the differences between women's lacrosse vs. men's lacrosse, Trigon Sports has the lacrosse training equipment you need. You can get practice lacrosse goals, training targets and more. If your program is in need of field-lining equipment such as a field striper or a layout kit, we've got you covered. Trigon Sports is a leading supplier of bleachers, lacrosse nets, windscreens and other field equipment that programs use to keep their players going. Order your own lacrosse equipment today.